Reduced A380 transition training for A320 Family, A330 or A340 qualified pilots has been jointly approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The latest approval was obtained for the transition training from A320 Family aircraft to the A380 on 7th February 2008. This means that, for example, a pilot flying Airbus' smallest aircraft, the A318, can be qualified to fly the A380 in 13 working days. It offers operators significant cost savings since training times can be halved compared to standard type rating courses.
Reduced transition training, known as Airbus Cross Crew Qualification (CCQ), is only possible due to the unique flight operational commonality between Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. Fifteen Airbus models, from the A318 through to the A380 and including the three new models of the A350 XWB Family, feature very similar flight decks and similar handling characteristics thanks to fly-by-wire technology. Commonality is a fundamental design criterion for Airbus as demonstrated by the fact that CCQ is available now for all combinations of Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft in service.
Today over 50 operators are reaping the significant benefits of Airbus' CCQ which can translate into a 50 to 90 per cent reduction of the duration and costs of pilot training. It brings them annual savings in training and payroll costs of up to 300,000 US$ per aircraft added to the fleet.
The transition training from A320 Family aircraft to the A380 takes 13 working days, from A330/A340 Family aircraft it takes 12 working days, while a pilot with no Airbus fly-by-wire experience requires 24 working days to complete the A380 standard type rating course.
Airbus is an EADS company.